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8th Annual Foothills Piano Festival


The Foothills Piano Festival is an annual free public event that was held on October 18, 2013 on Jacksonville State University campus in Mason Hall Performance Center.

In the early years of this event, it was held in venues such as Anniston High School and Anniston Museum of Natural History.

The festival used to last 3 days  and consisted of recitals, master classes, and workshops but has since turned into more of a concert series, consisting of 3-4 concerts throughout the academic year.

The recitals vary from a solo piano to a chamber ensemble, which is a piano, cello, and violin.

Two pianists, Kathryn Fouse and Adam Bowles, performed in Friday night’s festival.

Kathryn Fouse, a pianist of 46 years who specializes in new music, has recently done the soundScape Festival in Maccagno, Italy, which fascilitates the exchange of new music, ideas and culture between musicians of tomorrow’s generation by providing an international platform for performances of new music.

Friday’s program was comprised of all new music composed by members of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance, also known as BAMA, comprised of members that come together to support new music, most of the members are composers.

Both performers were excited about performing in this festival; they live their dream each day because playing the piano is something they have looked forward to doing since their childhood.

Bowles, speaking of the crowd, said, “It feels good to have the opportunity to perform with such variety of diversity”. It was a medium size crowd with attendees of all ages.

The performers played separately on individual grand pianos and then together on one piano, which is a talent that requires numerous hours of practice.

Bart Morton, a senior and music major at JSU with plans to become a sound engineer, said that he enjoyed the show quite a bit and that it was quite interesting to be a part of an event of different music genres with people of the same interest.

Dr. Wendy Freeland, director of the event, is in her 11th year as a professor here at JSU and teaches applied piano, classical piano, and music history for graduate students, while also the president of the Alabama Music Teachers Association.

Freeland has performed in the festival multiple times herself and will be performing in the upcoming event JSU Piano Quartet January 10, 2014.

Foothills Piano Festival’s upcoming events include JSU Piano Quartet on January 10, 2014 and ETA-3 on Monday, March 17, 2014 at 7:30p.m.

If you would like to be placed on a mailing list to receive a Foothills Piano Festival Post Card which lists the events, contact Wendy Freeland at

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